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 Rockford IceHogs

IceHogs Level Series 1-1 Behind Hardman's Two-Goal Night

May 1, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Rockford IceHogs News Release

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-After scoring five unanswered goals, the Rockford IceHogs topped the Grand Rapids Griffins 5-1 in Game 2 of the Central Division Semifinals at Van Andel Arena on Wednesday night. Mike Hardman scored two goals, and Drew Commesso was nearly perfect in net in his Calder Cup Playoffs debut, stopping 27 of 28 Griffins shots.

Special teams heavily favored Rockford as the Hogs were 2-for-2 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.

Rockford claimed a late 2-1 lead in the first period, and two IceHogs recorded their first career Calder Cup Playoff goals. After making a pad save to fend off Carter Mazur's shot from the left circle, Austin Czarnik ripped the rebound between Commesso's legs to take a 1-0 lead (10:52).

The IceHogs answered not even a minute later and made it 1-1 when rookie Ethan Del Mastro netted his first postseason goal, rifling a wrister from just over the blueline in the high slot behind Sebastian Cossa (11:47).

With 31 seconds left in the first frame of Game 2, Dominik Shine was called for a tripping minor, and the Hogs went on their first power play of the contest (19:29). Tallying his first career playoff goal, Mike Hardman got his stick on Rem Pitlick's one-timer from the top of the right circle and deflected the disc behind Cossa to give Rockford a 2-1 lead as the buzzer went off before the first intermission (19:59).

As Isaak Phillips shuttled a pass up the boards from Rockford's zone to Grand Rapids' blueline, Michal Teply skated in with options to pass and flicked his second goal of the playoffs past Cossa's blocker, extending the lead 3-1 with the only tally of the second frame (1:25).

The Griffins tested the Hogs' penalty kill twice late when Pitlick was called for high-sticking at 11:17 and Teply was charged with a hooking minor at 19:03. Despite the extra man advantages, both teams were tied with eight shots each in the middle period.

Tacking on two more scores in the third period, the IceHogs sealed a commanding 5-1 win. Hardman found twine for the second time and his second postseason goal and made it 4-1 after setting up in the high slot and tipping Filip Roos' attempt from the right point (4:17).

After Mazur was charged with a tripping minor and a 10-minute misconduct penalty, Luke Philp netted a slapper from the right circle and stretched the lead to 5-1 (15:34).

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